Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 21-Double

Part One

I was a little apprehensive about doing a double yesterday.  I started feeling crappy halfway through the class the night before but everyone convinces me to go ahead with the double.  For breakfast I had an orange and some coconut water.  I wasn't able to finish the coconut water before heading to class, so I still felt full by the time class started.  The class flew by and I was only slightly dizzy.  I pushed myself pretty hard without overdoing it.  It was exciting to know that when the class ended I was only halfway done with my yoga for the day.  It made me feel pretty pumped.  Well, for a little bit.  After class I was really hungry.  I wanted to eat because I need the calories, but not a lot because yoga on a full belly is uncomfortable for me.  Because the teacher would be leaving the studio, Rashad and I had to hang out at a cafe for the hour the doors were locked.  I drank a chocolate milk and ate some peanuts and a few fruit snacks because I was craving them.  I also drank a lot of water.  We started feeling tired just sitting there, so we walked around Andersonville and browsed a couple of stores.

Part Two

When we got back to the studio I was back to feeling pretty excited about doing the double.  It got around in the locker room that I was about to do a double and it made for interesting conversation.  The cold and sitting for a bit made my muscles a little sore and tight but they warmed back up again.  I felt like my sit-ups were about where I left off at the end of the first class.  Awkward and Eagle poses were hard for me to do because my muscles were already worked to their max.  I let myself take it easy on a few sets when my body really started to protest.  I knew all I had to do was stay in the room.  Once my brain settled back into the class, I went by even faster than the first one.  It was kind of like being on auto-pilot.  All of a sudden we were in the last few poses and it was done.  I was very thirsty, a little shakey, and only a little giddy.  I was hungry but I couldn't figure out anything to eat, nothing sounded like it would feel good on my stomach.  By the time I made it home, I felt pretty raw emotionally and fell apart a little.  I finally decided to eat some celery and peanut butter with craisins to go with my chai protein drink. A few hours later, I felt hungry for real and ate some GF pizza and cranberry juice.  Unfortunately, I filled up quick and had a hard time finishing.  By 11:00 I was so tired I could barely finish eating and started getting ready for bed.  Being so tired when trying to go to bed is a bad thing because I keep forgetting things I need to do and just keep getting out of bed to do them.  The next time I do a double, I will make sure I am not out of protein mix like I was this time.  That will prevent the food crises I had this time that added to my emotional breakdown.

Time to get ready and go to today's class!  Not having my fancy phone makes it harder to write my blog post directly after class.  I can't wait to get my phone back.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 20

I had intended to go to morning class, but cramps told me to go back to bed.  Instead, I packed up my gear and brought it with me to work.  I wasn't sure how I was going to make it there on time without my bike, but thanks to my boss, I did!  She got home as fast as she could, despite work related drama, had her cab wait for me, and then gave me money for the cab.  Now don't you wish you had a boss like that!?  I got to yoga on time and wasn't the last one in the room.  Halfway through class I started feeling pretty bad.  I got really hot and was sweating more than usual.  My cramps started up again and I felt nauseous all of a sudden.  My heart started racing a bit and my breathing got off track.  It took me a while after class to get back to feeling alright.  After talking with some classmates, it seems like the general consensus is that I'm might be fighting off a cold, which is very likely seeing as everything is going around right now, or that it's my body dealing with my period.  I'm voting for a combination of the two and that it doesn't happen again today.  Today, I'm doing a double in support of Rashad.  Why I'm doing this, I'm not sure.  It is incredibly exhausting but also exhilarating.  I just hope I make it out the other side standing up...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 19

The last 24 hours have been a bit of a downer.  But I made it to yoga and for those 90 minutes that's all that existed.  I did every pose I could to the best of my ability in that moment.  It's becoming easier to accept each class as it's own, separate from others and without comparison. I've done these poses a good number of times now and I no longer have much of a distinction between classes, they all kind of blur.  But that could just be because I am so exhausted right now.  A fellow Bikram Yoga addict made yoga buttons and she gave me one today.  It says Yoga Badass! and I put it right onto my backpack.  I think I will be doing a double on Saturday.  I'm sure I'll have more to write after that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 18

This was by far my sweatiest class ever!  My towel was soaked through and I was just dripping the whole time.  My fingers were wrinkled and I had a hard time being still for all the sweat trickling into my nose, ears, eyes and mouth.  It was a good class and I worked hard.  I had some dizziness and I've had to sit out the second set of a few different standing poses for the last week because my quads and hips are sore.  My lower back is working through some stuff and is usually really sore after all those back bends and especially Camel Pose.  Then, Rabbit Pose makes it feel better and I stop fretting over it.  I almost fell asleep as soon as I was in the first Savasana.  It was a struggle to keep my eyes open and my body responding to the teacher's instructions.  I think I just need more sleep.  I got a flat tire on the way home from class, so now I have to walk to work and buy a CTA 7-day so that I can get around until I'm able to get a friend to help me fix it.  Time to walk to work now, at least the sidewalks are clearer with that big thaw yesterday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 17

Tuesdays at 6:30 and Saturdays and 9:45 are the two busiest classes at BYA.  Tonight was amazing!  There had to been over 60 people, maybe close to 70, in that room.  Pranayama breathing felt unifying.  Mats were no more than 2 inches from each other and there were two people using folded mats at the back of the room.  After the standing series, I was asked to switch with a guy who was in a crunched spot by the fire exit.  Being short and tiny and all, it made sense and I was glad to relieve him of that spot.  It was an interesting and positive challenge.  I had to fold up a few inches of my mat and sometimes encroached on the mat of the woman in front of me.  Getting in and out of poses was a little bit of a juggling act to make sure no eyes got poked by toes.  Doing sit-ups was the most hilarious thing to me tonight.  When I'd lie down, I'd make sure my head was at the top of my mat and my feet had a little room between them and the wall.  Every time I'd think I had enough room for my legs to shift forward during the sit-up, but every time I'd be wrong.  I'd hear the cues and modify them in my head.  I'd flex my feet and scoot my butt up on my mat.  I'd put my hands over my head, putting them in prayer position on my forehead so I wouldn't hit the feet of the women in front of me.  I'd sit up and somehow my feet would slide into the wall and I'd be stuck against the wall with my body still half in the air.  Then I'd suppress a giggle, do my best to double exhale and get into the next pose, all while avoiding the woman next to me who was trying to not bump the door, the wall, or the heater.  I think I stayed pretty focused, despite the added challenges.  The standing series gave me some difficulty along the lines of dizziness and sore hip and leg muscles.  Spine-Twisting Pose somehow made my right tricep cramp up and my left one isn't too happy either.  I've stretched them the best I can, but time and lots of water will help.  I can't wait to be back tomorrow morning but it will be such a different vibe!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 16

The effects of that Epsom Salt bath did not last very long last night.  I woke up today with all kinds of sore muscles, including the right side of my neck and my triceps.  I think that's partly from Camel Pose and mostly from Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose.  In the latter, I was able to see myself in the side mirror and really focused on keeping my arms fully stretched out with my triceps engaged.  I hadn't noticed that before because I'm never that close to the side mirror.  Anyway, that was yesterday, I have to get back on task here!  Some of the stretches were really hard because of the sore tight muscles.  I did my best and it got easier as the class went on.  I had to sit out a couple second sets because my muscles just couldn't handle it.  With the teacher's encouragement, I was able to get a lot further down in Stretching Pose.  I held it for a few seconds and then couldn't take it anymore.  I still adore Camel Pose but I wasn't able to hold it for the extra few seconds on the second set.  I blame that glorious extra set yesterday!  I was able to do the third part of Locust Pose without sharp pain in my wrist and my second set got higher than I'd ever done it before.  I even did Cobra Pose without the modification for my wrist.  After class I asked the teacher if there's anything to do about these sore muscles.  She said to come to class every day, to which I replied "I do!"  She said come twice a day, but I can't do that.  She then went on to say that Bikram Yoga takes apart your body and puts it back together better.  That describes exactly what it feels like!  I realized that the Trapezius issue is from having to wear a sling and favor my right arm for so long last year. It's like my body is tearing that all out and building a new one from the ground up.  Another student suggested tart cherry juice, saying there is something in it that helps with sore muscles.  Unfortunately, cherries are that one food that I detest with my whole being.  Then we talked about food and weight.  I've always been teased, mostly affectionately, for being so tiny and scrawny.  Even with the best intentions, it sometimes makes me feel bad for being so skinny and super flexible while other people struggle to keep their weight under control and touch their toes.  I realized that it's really comforting to be around people who are skinnier and more ridiculously flexible than I am.  It makes me feel less self conscious for being built the way I am.  I mean, these people have been putting in multiple hours a day for years to become ridiculously flexible and trim!  I've got to go hang laundry and get ready for work, woot!

Day 3

When I switched the the new URL, I somehow forgot to post Day 3.  I have no idea how to make it go in order, so here it is now!

Even after 8 1/2 hours of sleep, I still had a hard time getting up this morning.  My plan to ride to yoga everyday was thwarted by the weather.  It's still dumping snow out there.  It was pretty from my position in Savasana; I could see the big flakes of snow twirling gently out of the corner of me eye.  It was calming.  I managed to stick it out again and not have to sit out any poses.  I did get a few dizzy spells but they weren't nearly as bad as the last few weeks.  It seems that the added iron supplement on top of what is in my vitamin is doing the trick.  I worked really hard during Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose to keep my palms together.  I haven't been able to do it since my first week of classes.  The struggle is compounded by my fear to fall onto my right hand.  I'm feeling pretty sore and tired but I'm in a great mood.  I can feel all of my back muscles.  Their just one big ball of ache, so I can't distinguish between them.  I had a harder time staying still today.  I found that in Eagle Pose I wobbled less if I clenched my arm and upper back muscles.  I will keep experimenting with that and on calming my fidgety body.  Halfway through class I realized that I was surrounded by guys on three sides.  This hasn't happened before.  There really are a lot more women than men.  As Zen Master Seung Sahn would say: not good, not bad.  It was just something I noticed.  Then, at the end of class I realized that the guy to my left had a shaved head, the two guys to my right had shaved heads, and the guy in front of me had a shaved head.  Those women with pony tails of thick hair have no idea what their missing!  Speaking of hair.  I can deal with the sweat splashing off my neighbor's arms or our hands touching during Full Locust Pose, but I cannot handle all of the stray hairs all over the locker room floor and showers!  (This is not a comment on the cleanliness of the locker room, it's kept amazingly clean.)  Disembodied hairs make me want to gag. I've had this issue for a long time and thought I was getting better about it.  These last two months have made me realize I'm less over it than I'd thought.  I can handle the hair of people I know better than a strand from a complete stranger entangling itself around my toes in the locker room...  I have done three days in a row before but tomorrow will be four and every day after that will be a new record for me.  I'm excited!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 15

Ahhh!  I just got done taking an epsom salt bath.  It feels so nice to just relax in the water with all these sore and growing muscles.  I just realized that I am now into my third week of daily Bikram Yoga.  That feels good!  The soreness is generally good and I feel really good about myself physically.  I'm a little concerned about losing any more weight, but when I worry about it I just tell myself to go eat something.  I've had some pretty strong cravings for food and I've let myself have Coke twice.  I generally only drink pop with pizza or at parties and I don't want to make this a new habit.  That would only perpetuate my addiction to sugar and I have worked so hard to get it under control in the last few years.  So, class today was very small.  Thanks to the Chicago Bears.  No really, thanks!  There were maybe 20 people in class and it had a very calm and focused feel.  I had to sit out a few sets that have been giving me trouble since Friday.  Other than that, I feel really good about class.  I had a slightly awkward moment when the teacher asked how I felt about demonstrating Camel Pose for the class.  I shrugged and smiled and my ears went red.  I have been loving Camel Pose for the last few weeks and today was no exception.  She walked me through it like normal and pointed out what I do right to the class.  Then, she asked me to make one correction and move my hands from my heels and onto the arches of my feet.  I wasn't able to do this before because it felt like too much pressure on my wrist.  I spoke with this teacher a few weeks ago about this issue and she told me to throw my hips forward to the point that I'd fling into the mirror if my hands weren't gripping my heels.  In general it's been hard to grip because my hand got so weak from the injury.  My right arm, wrist and hand have gotten markedly stronger since starting Bikram Yoga.  As I did what she said, and moved my hands to the arches of my feet, I felt my hips and shoulder open up more.  I had a weird, but not bad, stretching and twanging sensation in my triceps.  I say twanging because it reminded me of the movement a guitar string makes after it's been plucked.  After the demonstration I collapsed on the mat in Savasana and then realized that there was a second set to do.  This would allow me to do Camel Pose three times in one class!  I jumped right back up and did it again with the new hand position.  The teacher then went on to explain how my wrist injury forced me to learn to do it properly instead of inhibiting me.  That made it feel like I was less of a showoff and more like my hard work and the teachers' instructions have paid off.  I wish I could see my progression through the pose as I've been working on it.  But, unlike a lot of the poses, you cannot see yourself in the mirror in Camel Pose.  Maybe that's part of the allure of it for me.  It's kind of a mystery.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 14

My body demanded sleep this morning and I wasn't able to drag myself out of bed to get to the 9:45 class like I planned.  It looked like I'd be missing out another day until I ended up not having to go into work.  I made it to the last class of the day and barely got through it.  I am very aware of every muscle in my body.  They are all vying for my attention.  Very loudly.  I think class was made all the more difficult by my lack of sleep.  I could have also used more water yesterday and earlier today.  I sat out some sets and listened when my muscles started crying.  I think I did a good job knowing where my limit was and not pushing it too far.  I don't like that class was so hard and I had to sit out, but I gave 100% effort.  It was just a lower quantity to begin with than usual.  I plan on taking it easy until my next class tomorrow afternoon and drinking a ton of water.  I also really need to increase my food intake to make up for the close to 1000 calories I burned from yoga alone yesterday.  Before the challenge, when I was just doing as many sporadic classes a week as I could, I was beginning to notice a difference in my body.  Mostly little things like my muscles were stronger so it was easier to ride my bike, and my neck and back were figuring things out.  Now, I'm really noticing more physical differences.  I see more definition all over and can feel the difference in my erector spinae group, my triceps, and my abdominal muscles.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 13- Part 2

I'm pretty geeked that I made it through class in one piece. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would but there's still tomorrow! I only sat out a couple sets and didn't drink any water. Class just flew by and I barely even noticed. By the time I got into the locker room I was wired! It was like everything was zipping around inside of me and it took a lot to focus. I practically skipped to the bus stop. It's slowed down a bit now, but 4 degrees will do that to you.

Day 13- Part 1

I'm doing a double today. It's decided. In order for me to feel like I've made up for missing yesterday, I have to attempt this. This morning I felt pretty stiff and had a hard time concentrating at first. Once I got into it it was a little easier. It didn't feel like starting over, but it wasn't my best class ever. I didn't sit out of any poses even though my body kept trying to convince me otherwise. I didn't get a nap between yoga and work, so we'll see how much energy I actually have for my Friday night plans! Now I must go chug some water & play with babies.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Today I was not able to make it to Yoga.  My body would not let me get out the door on time for the 9:30 am class and I had to work until 8:30 pm.  I had to switch to a different brand of iron supplements because I ran out before I had time to go to Whole Foods to get the kind I'd been taking before.  I had to buy a different brand from CVS and I am not happy about them.  The first week after switching, my dizziness was a little bit worse and I couldn't go to the bathroom no matter how much I ate.  This week is week 2 and I have to go to the bathroom 2 to 4 times from when I get up at 7:30 and when I have to be heading out the door at 9:00.  Ridiculous!  I know it can't be a gluten problem cropping up because I am pretty good about the enzymes and not eating gluten.  So, my body finally said I could get ready at 9:20, which is when I should be in the changing room.  I tried to come up with a solution.  I checked all the other times at BYA, but none of them would work.  I even looked up the Evanston and downtown locations.  Nothing would work.  I don't feel like I know the poses well enough to do them at home, so I didn't attempt that.  I felt just horrible that after only 11 days something happened to mess this up.  I'm more disappointed by the circumstances than mad at myself.  Some time while I was at work I realized that I could make it up to myself by doing a double tomorrow.  Which is funny because I just told people there is no way I am ready for a double yet.  We'll see what tomorrow holds...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 11

I'm still stiff and achey, what's up with that?  Nina has decided that post-yoga-blog-writing time is pay-attention-to-Nina time.  This makes it very hard to keep drinking water when my arms are trapped by a 13 pound cat...  Hmm, what to say about class?  I sweat a lot.  I'm working my butt off.  My body isn't sure what's going on.  I'm hungry and then I'm not.  I stick a pose one day and then fall out repeatedly the next.  I sleep soundly one night and then restlessly the next.  I've been craving Coke and giving into those cravings.  I feel like I have a clear head.  I can't wait for these body aches to go away, I'm ready to feel energized after yoga!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 10

I am suddenly very sore.  My body is stiff and achey and I feel like I could fall asleep.  My sleep last night was filled with very active dreams and I wasn't rested when I got up.  Class still went by pretty fast, it's just that in between the poses I felt like it was so hard to get into Savasana and then to stay still.  Things hurt more and I felt like I was less flexible or that it took more effort.  I plan on taking an epsom salt bath tonight while Ash is at the evening class.  I'm hoping for an easy day at work today and then a good night's sleep.  Work will fly by and the kids will lift my mood!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 9

I did not want to come out of Camel Pose.  I wanted to hang out there a little longer, reaching my eyes further up my mat.  It was such a high!  I will see my toes one of these days.  I felt good about Standing Bow, even though I fell out.  I fell out from what I thought was one from pretty good form.  The key, for me, when I make adjustments and corrections, is to do them slow and stay in control.  If I get too jumpy, I fall out right away and then have a hard time getting back into the pose.  My breathing feels so much more even during and after these last few classes.  My lungs aren't fighting for every gasp of air and I enjoy Pranayama instead of wishing for it to be over.  My body is still exhausted and all that concentration makes my brain ready for a nap.  But, I feel pretty bubbly the rest of the day and kick and bad mood I might have had.  Last night we made spaghetti and meatballs, so I chopped a lot of garlic and some onions.  I could smell the garlic on my hands during class and it made me laugh.  We also made onion rings, so all our yoga gear & towels smelled like a deep frier.  Next time we'll put them further away, but I'm not sure it will make much difference in our little apartment.  I'm on my way to the Chiropractor now (yay Blogger-droid!) and then to work.  I don't think I'll need to get adjustments very often during this challenge.  My back and neck feel so strong and that's going to help the adjustments stick.

(I may have written this using Bollger-droid but it failed to send the post.  I had to copy the text and send it in an email to myself from my phone.  Boo Blogger-droid!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 8

My back has taken quite a beating in my life.  I was pretty rough on my body in sports as a kid.  On top of general wear and tear, I've broken my coccyx and T4 and sprained my neck.  I've had pretty consistent back and neck pain for the last 4 years and it's gotten consistently worse over the last year.  C1 has a tendency to jam itself into the Occiput at the base of my skull, causing severe neck and head pain that leads to multiple days of migraines.  I've been going to a Chiropractor since I was 17, but it hasn't had the same lasting effect in the last few years.  I knew I needed a big change and that Bikram Yoga might be it for me.  In the first two months of taking sporadic classes, I had days that were better and days that were worse.  There were days that I felt lithe and limber and days where my muscles spasmed and I'd be in bed with a migraine as soon as I got home from work.  The longer I went between classes, the worse my body's reactions would be.  As soon as I'd manage a few days of classes in a row, I'd have an upswing and feel better.  Now that I've had 8 consecutive days, I'm seeing a big difference.  I still ache and need more sleep, but my back is responding well.  I've had fewer headaches and less neck pain in the last week.  My lower back is straightening out, correcting the anterior tilt that Chiropractic has only fixed momentarily.  In class, I'm noticing a big difference, too.  I'm getting bigger and bigger back bends with each class.  Today, I was able to see a foot of my mat in Camel Pose!  I'm pretty proud of myself for that.  It was a lot of work and it felt great the whole time.  It felt like class flew by, but it didn't feel rushed.  My breathing stayed pretty even during poses and it was easier to deepen it during Savasana.  I felt like I was hearing everything the teacher was saying.  I had a few dizzy spells and fidgeted a bit with the sweat on my face.  I did take a few sips of water, but my mouth felt really dry.  As soon as Ash and I got home from yoga yesterday, I started pestering her about coming with me today.  She'd answer maybe and that she'd see how she felt tomorrow.  First thing this morning, I asked if she was coming with me to noon or 3:30 class.  We went to the noon class!  She's rocking it out, sore but feeling good about it.  It's nice to talk with her about class now that she's experienced it for herself.  I've got to get up and hang the laundry to dry.  Then I must chug some water, I'm so thirsty!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 7

Today was momentous.  My girlfriend, Ash, came with me for her first class!  I've been urging her to join me for a class for a while now, but she had a good excuse for the last month.  So, this morning we got up and ate and started drinking water.  We packed our bag of stuff and rode our bikes to BYA.  I had a great class overall.  I had some dizziness and a few poses that I felt pain from or I just couldn't stay in.  Ash did a fantastic job and said she was super energized from it.  Well, after she got her breath back and stopped shaking...  At the beginning of class, I had an interesting thought: don't compare yourself to anyone around you or to how you did in a previous class.  It seems simple but I often find myself not accepting my best effort in the moment and wanting to push myself harder.  Moment to moment my 100% effort varies vastly.  Each pose is difficult in different ways and I can't expect perfection just perfect effort.  This was the first class that I didn't drink water.  I think I didn't crave it as much because I was able to down a whole glass before class, which I usually can't do.  I try to keep my water to a minimum and take only little sips at a time.  The couple of times I thought to take a drink it was only because those were the pauses that I usually do.  I didn't really feel like I needed it, so I didn't drink.  I have more energy today than I normally do after class.  I'm making a guess here, but it might have to do with wasting less energy on fidgeting and water drinking.  Don't get me wrong, I could totally take a nap right now!

Day 6

I slept 9 hours last night and dreamt I ate gluten, was attacked by a dog, and went surfing.  I do not eat gluten, I've never been attacked by a dog, and I've never been surfing.  I think it was bagels that I was eating and everyone was freaking out telling me not to eat them.  I blew them off saying that I would be fine.  The last time I ate gluten intentionally was at a Korean restaurant after yoga a few weeks ago.  I love Korean food and one of my favorite dishes is Korean pizza/pancakes.  I knew there would be gluten and I ate it anyway, putting my trust in the high doses of digestive enzymes that I take whenever I eat out.  I was fine at first but the next day I had stomach cramps and fatigue and skipped yoga to stay close to the toilet.  It wasn't bad and I'm hoping to try again soon.  With the enzymes, I can handle cross contamination and small amounts of gluten, like soy sauce or thickeners.  I don't know what this has to do with class today, oh well.  I felt really good about Eagle, Camel and Balancing Stick Poses.  It's not that I thought I did them perfectly, but that I gave them every ounce of effort I had in me.  My right Trapezius is tense and it's hard to turn my head to the right.  This has happened a few times since starting yoga and seems to go away with a little rest, Tiger Balm and Epsom Salt baths.  This week has been hard and my energy is waning.  Unfortunately, a classmate, who is at 18 days, said that the second week was even harder for her!

Locker rooms are a new thing for me.  None of the high schools I went to used them for gym class.  Thank god.  At first I was very uncomfortable, not because I had qualms taking my clothes off in front of strangers, but because people get uncomfortable with naked bodies.  I'm over that a now.  We all just spent an hour and a half mostly naked, dripping sweat, and working our bodies to their limit.  We all have to get undressed, showered, and dressed again.  Conversations in the locker room are a whole different story.  It's really hard to look people in the face when they're naked and talking to you.  And there is so much going on around me, people squeezing through, showering, toweling off, putting lotion on, doing hair...  If you glance in the wrong direction at the wrong time you get a glimpse of something you might not want to see.  Or maybe you do, but you can't look like you wanted to see.  Then there's the gay thing.  I know there are other lesbian and bi women in the locker room but what do the straight women think and feel?  That's out of my control.  The only thing I can do is take care of me.  But that doesn't stop me from having all these concerns.

Day 5

I've got both cats chilling with me on the couch.  I think they are getting used to my new schedule.  I'm still just pulling myself through the days trying to hit a stride.  As soon as class started, I wanted to run away.  It took a lot of will power to not just laze through the class but actually work at it.  There were times I wanted to sit down, not because I was dizzy, but because I didn't feel like doing it.  I tried to justify that since I did the first set I didn't have to do the second.  Or, I'm on day 5, there's really no need to put too much effort in because I'm here every day and will be for many days to come.  What is up with me!?  This is so not like me.  I've ridden my bike through multiple winters and gotten back on my bike shortly after injuries and accidents.  I used to try to convince myself that if it was under 20 degrees I could take the bus, or if it was over 90 and my trip was more than 5 miles I could take the train.  Every time I'd ride anyway.  I used to have to force myself to take a break and now I'm trying to give myself reasons why I shouldn't work so hard.  Other than that, class was pretty uneventful.  The teacher was chatty and everyone was sweaty.  I had minimal dizziness and only had to squat down a couple of times.  I feel like I'm getting better at Toe Stand.  My wrist is still bugging out so I went easy on it.  Between yoga, riding my bike, washing dishes, and lifting babies I think I might be overdoing it.  I'm wearing my brace a little more often just for some added support and a physical reminder to give it a break.  I keep meaning to make an appointment for acupuncture.  I know it will really help.  I've been forcing as much food as I can into my mouth.  I've been doing protein shakes after yoga but today I decided to stray.  I really wanted a coke so I had a can with leftover rice/corn/sausage.  I guess I'll make my shake before work and take it with me.  I've been getting headaches in the early evening and I'm sure it's dehydration.  Just gotta keep chugging water.  During the last breathing exercise I glanced in the mirror and saw a very pregnant classmate, belly in full bounce.  The image that came to mind was the baby inside jumping around like a kid in a bounce house, yelling "Weeeee!  Yaaaaaay!" while kicking off the inside of mom's uterus, backflips and all.  That's the image I ended class with.

Alright lurkers, I know you're there and I even know who some of you are!  I've got this great arrivals tracker on my page that tells me where the computers are located that are visiting my site.  I'd love some feedback and comments.  A little hello would be nice.  Encouragement and cheerleading are preferred but even a "You're crazy!" is welcome.  I know who you are El Paso, Ann Arbor, and Evanston!

Day 4

I got to ride my bike to class today!  The roads were cleared up a bit and the bus just wasn't happening.  It felt good to jump on my cruiser and get where I needed to go by the power of my own body.  My wrist was bothering me a bit more than usual this morning and I was concerned about Cobra Pose.  I talked with the teacher and she recommended I keep my arms palm down against my sides instead of bent by my shoulders.  That way my wrists wouldn't be responsible for holding me up.  My back had to do all the work! My legs wanted to fly into the air from the exertion.  I'll definitely stick with that the days my wrist is bumming.  I realized as soon as we got to the floor series that I shouldn't have had oatmeal an hour and a half before class.  My stomach felt huge and it was using up all my energy.  I want to eat earlier but that requires getting up earlier.  My body is barely managing getting up at 7:30 after 8 1/2 hours sleep. Supposedly I will hit my stride and become the energizer bunny.  I can't wait.  I think the iron supplements are working.  I only had a few dizzy spells and didn't have to sit out.  I've been packing on the calories, trying to make up for the 472 that I supposedly burn during one class. Unlike most people, I can't afford to lose any weight.  I've already lost 4lbs in the two months since starting yoga.  I got a little nap with Meescha between yoga and work.  It's really because of this new job that I can get to yoga every day but after yoga I really don't want to wake up and get moving again!

Day 2

I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning.  I just didn't feel rested.  I ate as soon as I could and started drinking water.  I couldn't get much down so I'm making up for that after class with a soy milk protein shake with a banana in it.  I rode my bike to class because it's only ten minutes away.  I'm not buying a CTA pass anymore since work's a ten minute walk.  I was surprised by the number of people in the 9:30 class, though the evening ones are definitely fuller.  The demographic was different, too.  It seemed like class flew by, my body reacting to the teacher's voice without my having to translate her words into actions.  I had some dizzy spells but I was able to do every pose without having to sit out.  I would just squat down between poses to get my head to clear, deepen my breathing, and then stand back up and keep going.  Even though it flew by, I fell out a lot and had to keep getting back in.  My right wrist hurt in Locust Pose, so I avoided the 3rd part.  Other poses I found easier than yesterday.  There doesn't seem to be any consistency yet.  I'm pretty tired and could just fall asleep, but I have to go switch the laundry out.  A daily cold-gentle cycle is part of my yoga routine.

Day 1

This was my first class in 4 days.  I got eight hours of disjointed sleep last night and woke up physically and emotionally exhausted.  I had been planning on attending the 9:45 or 12:00 class but that would have required getting out of bed before noon.  Emily F. dropped me off at BYA at 3:20 after helping us pick up a hand-me-down tv from friends.  I made it into the room right on time.  I didn't lie down in Savasana because I knew I'd need to jump up right away.  My blood pressure has been wacky lately (orthostatic hypotension that was probably caused by high blood pressure medication that I was prescribed as a kid and  repeated bouts of anemia) during the standing poses and I wanted to start out strong.  I had a hard time anyway and had to sit down for one set of most of the standing poses.  I made it through the standing series and nearly fell asleep in the first Savasana.  I haven't been feeling anything in Fixed Firm Pose.  I felt good stretching in all directions of my thoracic spine during Rabbit Pose.  My spine feels crooked/twisted and I have to consciously work at keeping my eyes straight instead of looking off to one side.  We went for ice cream at George's after class.  Zanzabar and Cinnamon.  Mmmm!  Tomorrow, I will write an introduction to explain why I'm putting myself through this and how I began Bikram Yoga.  Oh, and I will start taking iron supplements again to see if that helps with the fainting.